With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to NIHILISM. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important isa band name to get people interested in your music?
-At the beginning of the band, we were looking for a name that directly reminds us of a Death Metal band.
The choice of this name is a perfect fit with our concept of life. It must be taken more as a rejection of religious dogmas and an approach based on the rationality of our existence than as a specific philosophical concept. Being personally a big lover of cinema, it is also a nod to the film “The Big Lebowski” of the Cohen brothers, of which I am an absolute fan. It is also a tribute to Entombed who was a big influence at the beginning of the band and whose first name was Nihilist.
In the end, this name fits perfectly with the image and texts of our music.
When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind offeelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, notknowing if everybody will like it?
-Quite frankly, we never asked ourselves whether people went to like our music or not. Our approach is very simple, we make the music we like and we try to produce it in the best possible way. Recording an album is a lot of work, so in general, we are very happy to have finished, because the studio part is not necessarily the most pleasant. Live sensations are much more important to us. But from the moment an album is finished, we are satisfied with it. If it is well received by critics and by people, it is even more satisfying, but it is not an end in itself. For our first album, I remember some particularly glowing reviews, but also others a little worse. Any criticism is good to take if it is constructive. The goal is not to please everyone, it is impossible anyway. We have the enormous advantage of not making a living from our music because we all have a job nearby, and therefore of having no obligation of results in terms of sales. The only obligation of result remains our personal satisfaction and the pleasure we have in playing together.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind offeelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-The studio is a long and tedious process. It is essential to allow you to offer the best possible rendering of your music. Personally, I love the creation and composition of music. The whole recording part, although crucial, is rather boring. I’m generally pretty happy when we’re done. Listening to the mix and final mastering remains a great moment, however. This is the part where I am most demanding because it is the final touch of the creation process.
Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on thebands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in orderto reach as many as possible?
-For “Apocalyptic Fate” our last album, we are fortunate to have a label (Great Dane Records) which has done a great job of promotion and distribution. With the air of digital, it is obviously necessary to be present on the various musical platforms, but for us, the main part of the promotion passes by the concerts.
Social networks are also an essential vector for reaching the greatest number. However, I am not the most active member of the band in this area. I prefer to spend time playing music than promoting it. I know that to overcome a certain level, we would have to be more present in this area, but since it is not necessarily an objective, I prefer to focus on music.
Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important isthat you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
-For my part, I am not a fan of subgenres which do not define much in the end. I think that the big categories of metal is more than enough to give an idea of the music of a group. We do Death Metal, I think that’s more than enough to define our music. The best way to get an idea of a group is not to describe it but to listen to it!
What importance is there in being part of local/national/internationalscene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of somethingbigger? I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part ofthe Swedish death metal scene in the 90s.
-Local scenes are the foundation of everything. You are referring to the Swedish death metal scene of the 90s which has become a world reference, but at the base, it is indeed a local scene which has taken an international dimension (amply deserved!) Like that of Florida at the same era or the Thrash scene of the Bay Area in the 80’s. We have a very active local scene at home (east of France), with groups with very different styles. I advise you to take a look at Fractal Universe, Catalyst, Voorhees, Mortuary, Temnein, Depraved or Sors Immanis.
Ever since Ifirst got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record.What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-For us, the visual is as important as the music since it must best illustrate the content of an album.
For our albums, we worked with Vincent Foucquet from Above Chaos, who is known for having produced covers for Inquisition, Meshuggah …
He did an incredible job, which perfectly illustrates our music and the general mood of the album.
By collaborating with Vincent, we have managed to define a visual specific to the group, which we wish to keep for the future. He is the one who contributed to the evolution of our logo, so that it is more in line with the evolution of our music.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release yourmusic on any sort of platform online? With the ability to upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fansnow that every Tom, John and Harry can upload their stuff?
-Having a label remains essential for us. Downloading is good, but I come from a generation that loves albums as objects. Being able to release an album in digipack with a worked visual is very important for us. Consuming music with a single click has advantages, especially for discovering new bands, but in general, when I listen to an album that I like through a platform, I always end up buying the version physical. A label like Great Dane Records offers very good promotion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Raph for the quality and professionalism of his work, as well as for the confidence he showed in us by signing us.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-Although we are not the kind of group to do theatrical productions with costumes and other accessories, the visual impact is as important as the music. On stage, for the visual, we simply have a backdrop. The dynamics of the show must be supported by a quality play of light. For music, it’s easier, when everyone is ready, 4 shots of charlet, and go !
What lies in the future?
-Given the current health situation, we unfortunately cannot turn out as we would like. So we used all this time to move forward on the composition of our 3rd album. We also take advantage of this confinement to better integrate Antoine, our new drummer.
We will resume the concerts as soon as possible, hoping to be able to play a maximum of dates to defend our latest album on stage.
Thanks for the interview and for your interest in Nihilism !